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Beach Management keeps Hovertravel’s Essential Lifeline timetable on schedule

(4 May 2020) Last month, 1,050 tonnes of shingle were transported along the Southsea seafront in a recycling exercise that will reduce coastal erosion and limit the risk of flooding. The shingle – consisting of sand, small stones and gravel – was transported from the Hovertravel terminal in Southsea to the beach by the Southsea Naval Memorial.

The recycling exercise was arranged after the shingle was displaced along the Southsea coastline over the winter.

Organised by main contractor, VSBW (a joint venture between VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster), the relocation of the shingle offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution. As a result, the impact of the sea on the coastline will be reduced by the shingle which will absorb wave energy. After being loaded by excavator into dumper trucks, the shingle was transported back along the beach.

Chris Wood, facilities manager at Hovertravel, said: “The addition of shingle throughout the winter and especially after any storms can hinder our operation. At the moment key workers and vital  supplies are carried on our Essential Lifeline timetable every day and during the summer we can operate flights as frequently as every 15 minutes.

By working with Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership and VSBW we now have a solution for excess shingle to be removed, clearing the view from our terminal on to the Solent and helping future neighbouring sea defences.”

Will Davies, project manager at VSBW, commented: “We were delighted to assist with the re-distribution of the shingle along the Southsea coastline, which will assist with strengthening coastal defences and protecting the natural landscape. We look forward to further reducing the risk of coastal erosion and flooding by delivering new defences for Southsea later this year.”

In 2019, VSBW was announced as the main contractor for the Southsea Coastal Scheme, which will provide £100m worth of flood protection to more than 8,000 properties and 704 businesses at risk along 4.5km of Solent coastline. For more information about the Southsea Coastal Scheme, please click here.